Since Mongolia’s announcement of strict-lockdown regime in response to the current situation of COVID-19, the Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC has been providing prompt international transport of food and emergency goods for uninterrupted import to Mongolia and building up reserves as instructed by the Ministry of Road and Transport Development and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.
Within the framework of foreign cooperation, a request was put forth to the neighboring railways companies to provide trains and transport food freights of Mongolia till the border checkpoint and hand it over to the Ulaanbaatar Railway. Although the Russian and Chinese railways are congested, the countries are transporting urgent goods, for example from Russia wheat and consumer goods, and from China rice, sugar, and fuel binders, to the border checkpoints.
In addition, the number of vehicles passing through the Zamiin-Uud-Erlian road border checkpoint has been drastically reduced, and due to the accumulation of freights in Erlian, there is a possibility of shortage in some products, according to relevant organizations and companies. To this end, preliminary agreement has been reached with the Chinese Railway to transfer freights to the Ulaanbaatar Railway trains at the Erlian railway station. According to international railway agreements, rules, and regulations, Erlian handles only narrow-gauge Chinese trains, and there are other technical issues for loading freight to Ulaanbaatar Railway’s trains. However, the issues have been resolved thanks to the urgent talks held with Chinese Railway and preparations are underway.
It is the priority to ensure continuous international rail transport, which is important for the country’s social, economic security, foreign trade and export earnings amid the pandemic. In this regard, it is necessary to cooperate with neighboring railways in order to eliminate the risk of the disease transmission through railway freights and technical agents who visit each other’s border stations, which is an integral part of the technology of transferring and receiving trains from neighboring railway stations. Temporary technological procedures for the transfer of trains without agents, through electronic networks and other means have been developed and are being implemented at the Sukhbaatar and Zamyn-Uud border stations. As a result, the agents of the two countries are exchanging trains without crossing their respective borders.